Resident Aliens

. 1 min read
I spent the
summer of 1987 doing mission work in Spain. Toward the end of the summer, I was
helping to prepare a storefront for the “grand opening” of Centro Cristiano, a
church in Béjar. I got to paint the metal grillwork that framed the windows and
glass doors, a tedious job that suited my temperament and gave me time to
I meditated
on some recent Scripture reading, including the remarkable words of Paul to the
Philippians: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we
are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). I grew up
internationally, knowing the value of citizenship in one nation while living as
a resident of another.
The church
was located in a neighborhood of modest high rise apartments and condos, on the
first floor of one of the buildings, open to a common square with room for kids
to play. One of the children came up to me and we struck up a short
conversation. “Where are you from?” “From heaven.”
Not exactly
the best way to open a conversation and invite it to continue! The kid just
walked away as I continued to paint. Just as I was born a US citizen without
ever being in the country (until later), so my citizenship is in heaven, though
I’ve never been there. And that status defines everything about who I am in the
world – a “resident alien”.
I want to
encourage you to be part of the adult Sunday School class this fall as they
read and interact together over the book Resident
Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony,
by Stanley Hauerwas and William
Willimon. Joel Shuman will lead the discussion, beginning 14 September. (On 7
September, the class will kick-off with an edition of Bible Jeopardy.) You can
order your book through the church office or yourself. If you need assistance
with the cost of the book, please let us know.
Together on
the journey!

Pastor JP